Friday, December 30, 2011

Holiday Odds & Ends

For gifts this holiday, I was conveniently able to print some illustrations I made this fall, frame them and give them to some family members. In addition to illustrations I also crocheted this cowl for my sister. I’d never made a cowl before and I didn’t use a pattern. Meaning, I just made it up and crossed my fingers that the finished product would be wearable. Which, thankfully it is, though I would make some adjustments to my design if I were to make another one in the future.

I also altered a store-bought hoodie for my brother with a wintery knit fabric I bought. I lined the hood and made triangular pockets out of the patterned fabric. It took me much longer than I expected because I forgot that tension and the stretch factor are so finicky with knit fabrics.

In January, I’m going to start to crochet myself a blanket out of small diamond shaped pieces that I’ll assemble once all the small pieces are made (meaning 95% of it can be made in that dead-time that I ride the bus.) And with the absence of provincial sales tax in Alberta, I’m going to splurge on some nice wool yarns to take back with me while I’m still in Edmonton!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ambidextrous Song Search!

In August I finished my last Ambidextrous Drawing Lesson video, where I drew my Two Hands Two Crowns logo, you can see all the videos here. I haven’t been practicing writing and drawing with my right hand nearly has much since I have gone back to school…. but recently I thought of a new approach to the Ambidextrous Drawing Lessons that has peaked my interest again.

I’m going to do two handed drawings inspired by song lyrics. The edited videos will use the songs as their soundtracks. So, I’m looking for some catchy (but not overplayed) songs. Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments below. If I pick a song you recommended, you’ll get a little mention in the video!

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Portfolio How To

For my illustration class I needed to put together a PDF and physical portfolio and apply for illustration work. I have been trying to do more editorial work so I applied to freelance for a magazine out of Portland, Oregon. This is a little sample of what I sent them.

I spiral-bound a book with 25 pieces I made in 2011. I made a sleeve for the book and on the cover of the sleeve I inserted a postcard with my contact info. On the back of the sleeve I printed a repeated pattern of the Two Hands Two Crowns logo. And to top it off I hand-embroidered the postcard to give it a three dimensional effect.

And speaking of editorial illustration, I did my first piece for the Coast (Halifax’s free weekly magazine) this week. It’s out now so if you’re in Halifax, pick-up a copy and look for it amongst the short fiction!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sew Busy!


I’ve had a very busy December. I sacrificed my exercise routine and my regular sleep schedule to fit in more hours of work. Over the next week I’ll post a few updates on all the stuff I made in the last month.

To kick it off, this is a cocktail dress I made from a 1950s pattern in my Fashion Construction class. I plan on wearing it for my holiday festivities… and today being the Winter Solstice (my family’s holiday of choice,) I’ll be sporting this dress tonight. I also designed/made some clothes as gifts for my siblings, which I can post after we’ve opened our presents tonight!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Don't Worry...

I've never posted work by other artists on this blog before, reserving it for things I've made. However, as I'm in the last stretch of this semester and stress is seeping from my pores (a great mental image, I know), I thought I would post this image that has kept me going.

It's by UK illustrator/designer Olly Moss.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Postal Greetings!

I've been on a gouache & watercolour high lately so I illustrated two holiday postcards to send to my friends and family. A couple weeks ago I mentioned to Chara, the owner of Love, Me Boutique here in Halifax, that I was getting many dozens of cards printed and she offered to sell some at her lovely, all Canadian, all handmade shop.

Here's a sample slice of each card. The greetings are "Merry Winter" (cardinal card) and "Jolly Holidays" (mitten card). If you're in Halifax and want to send some yourself you can buy them at Love, Me. As for me, I'll be very busy gathering addresses and writing personal notes for the next few weeks.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Productive Insomnia

When I can't sleep I usually read in bed. Last night however I felt inclined to draw.

It was nice, I don't often draw without a purpose or plan. Even when I'm drawing for fun I almost always know what the final product will look like before I put pen to paper. We'll see if this becomes a habit, maybe I'll be posting more sleepy surprises soon.

This is ink and gouache on recycled paper.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Arc in the Sky Sketches

I’m pleased to say that this winter I’ll be resuming a project that I really care about. Arc in the Sky is a collaborative graphic novel effort between myself and writer, Elizabeth Archer. Last spring I went to NYC to take reference photos for the book and I’ve just started sketching again. We’re working out a few of the finer story details and I hope to do the bulk of the illustrations this winter and spring. (It’s not a terribly long book.)

The break from the project was good for re-thinking the stylistic approach best suited to the story. So for the next while I’ll probably be posting some drawings in different media. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Drawing Factory

Last week Picnicface’s Canada was released in bookstores across Canada and I final got to see my drawings in print! I did these illustrations in February but I wasn’t able to show anyone, so it feels new and exciting. The book also happens to be hilarious, and a good gift idea for comedy lovers, but maybe not for historians.

And speaking of illustrations, during the last two weeks I’ve converted my bedroom into a drawing making factory. I’ve been very productive and made a few new pieces I’m really happy with… however I’m not quite ready to share them yet.

In the meanwhile I thought I’d complete this survey that’s been going around some blogs. I’m such a stickler for lists!

♥ buying.... this necklace! I bought it two weeks ago on Etsy from Noble Town Vintage and I’m waiting for its arrival.

♥ reading… just finished Hark A Vagrant! by Kate Beaton and just started Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli.

♥ listening... still in the Halloween spirit I’ve been listening to Youth Lagoon and Dead Man’s Bones (check out this song).

♥ going... to the Strange Adventures afterparty for Hal-Con (Halifax’s sci-fi & comic convention).

♥ eating... veggie, gourmet sloppy joes and homemade cookies.

♥ watching... I’ve had a Philip Seymour Hoffman long-weekend. I watched Synecdoche, New York on Friday, Doubt last night and Capote tonight or tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Air Mail Halloween

Well, I had big plans for Halloween this year that didn’t quite come to fruition because of a stubborn cold and a mountain of homework.

Early in the week I attended a Jack O’Lantern carving party, where I carved this little fella and ate some truly gourmet pumpkin seeds.

I spent Friday night making my costume and on Saturday night I won a prize for having the “Most Creative Costume” at Strange Adventure’s Party. What can I say? I just love snail mail!

I intended to make a bunted banner out of these non-spooky Halloween fabrics to decorate my porch, but alas time was too tight. Next year.

And… I really wanted to make Hank (my cat) a mane that I could attach to his collar. Here’s a photo of him being very lion-like. I will save this idea for a rainy day because cats in costumes is pretty close to the top of my list of favourite things.

Overall, it was a great Halloween but one of these years I’m going to go all out!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Honing the Portfolio - pt.4

This week I made a postcard and a bookmark that I can give out as samples of my work. The bookmark features Post-War American authors alongside a pattern inspired by their most popular novel.

The postcard was actually an illustration I did as part of an advertisement for one of my classes and I thought it could work as a stand alone image.

Right now I’m working on illustrating a calendar and two large posters, it'll be a few weeks before they're ready, but they'll be worth the wait!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Honing the Portfolio - pt.3

These are three alternative book covers for J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories that I made in my typography class for a little exercise in composition. The bottom two are digital illustrations and the one to the right is a photo I took with my manual film camera.

Salinger has also snuck into another piece I'm working on for my illustration class that should be finished next week.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Honing the Portfolio - pt.2

Here are some client pieces I did at the end of the August and start of September. The first is a taste of the visual identity I did of the Victoria Spoken Word Festival, the second is the logo for the UBC Improv Club and the last is a t-shirt design for the Vancouver International Improv Festival.

The location of these three clients seem to indicate that I'm living on the wrong Canadian Coast. However I do have clients outside of British Columbia, as you read this I have a few pieces printing for publiction. I won't be able to share the content until the books are released, the first book is Picnicface's Canada, which I have 3 illustrations in and the second book is Said the Gramophone Selected Works Vol. 1, which I have 2 illustrations in.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Honing the Portfolio

Eek! It’s been almost a month since my last post. Time operates so differently when you’re in University. I certainly miss that bubble of time I had to work all on my personal projects while I was freelancing this past year. There are a few assignments though, particularly in my illustration course that I’m so excited to work on so I can have them as new gems in my portfolio.

September zoomed by and I have a handful of new portfolio pieces, from school assignments and from client work to show for it. I’ll post a new completed project every day for the next few days. This project is called Whyte Bull. It’s based on a Greek Myth about the origin of the Minotaur. The drawings are meant to show points in the story but not tell the full story, so the imagery may be a tad confusing without existing knowledge of the myth.

Let me know what you think, click to enlarge any pieces.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

June 23, 2003

June 23rd 2003 was not an especially important day. It was however the last day of the school year so friend, Emily Davidson (the mastermind behind Make Work Design) and I decided to commemorate the occasion with a trip to a photobooth in downtown Edmonton. Years later, we are still commemorating it. You see, though I’d visited photobooths a few times before this, these photos inspired me to start my collection and start my quest for photobooth related knowledge.

The following year Emily and I realized the role these pictures had in my collection (which back then was maybe 75 single photos), we decided it would be fun to try to re-take them. So, on June 23rd 2004 we awkwardly struck the same poses in the same booth.

In 2005 Emily moved to Halifax and I moved to Calgary. We started taking our June 23rd photos in December when we both were home for winter break. There have been a few anniversaries when our lives didn’t intersect and we took the photos separately and then sent the other person’s half in the mail.

And as the story goes, at the start of 2011 I moved to Halifax, where Emily still lives. And so, our high school spirits continue to be memorialized.

The photos here are my half of the June 23rd series, Emily’s half are of us as enacting a scene from a horror film and us with big smiles.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Writing Right: Wrapping Up

Well, learning to become ambidextrous over the last seven months certainly has been a tiny adventure. I definitely have more control over my right hand than I used to and I have a lot more confidence using it for everyday tasks. Notably, there have been a few occasions when my left hand has cramped up after hours of illustrating digitally (tablet pens are not very ergonomic) and I have been able to switch to my right hand for simpler parts of the drawing.

Here’s the link to this month’s Ambidextrous Drawing Lesson video. As school will be starting soon this will be the last of the Writing Right project for the time being … However, a few weeks ago I received an email from a filmmaker who is interested in making a professional ambidextrous training video with me. With school, I’m too busy to take on this endeavour now but we’re going to visit the idea again in the spring to see if production will be possible in the summer. I bet it would be a hoot!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chemistry, Biology and Life Sciences

In keeping with my Garden State project, I made a sailor inspired shirt last week and attempted to photobooth wearing it. (Yes, I do use the word “photobooth” as a verb.) The first booth I visited is in the Halifax Shopping Centre, it is often out of order and has produced both incredible and horrible photos for me in the last 8 months. Unfortunately it was an off day for the booth and my photos came out overexposed and splotchy.

I re-took my photos yesterday at a different booth (in Scotia Square) and was delighted with how they turned out. Despite being oddly teal, the images are sharp. This makes me wonder about wet chemical photobooths and what makes them vary this drastically. Both of these booths are a model 17 and are serviced by the same person. There’s still a lot I don’t know about photobooth chemistry but I’m intrigued to learn more as I do plan on buying my own within the next decade… as soon as that jar of pennies labelled “photobooth” reaches 500,000 coins.

This week I also put together my first little terrarium. This was a low-risk endeavour because I used an open container and only one plant species. I don’t have much of a green thumb but I do daydream about making a large enclosed terrarium filled with orchards. I obviously still have a thing or two to learn, as my cactus seems to be exasperated in its humid bubble in my humid bedroom in this humid city. Sorry new cactus friend.

Last month I didn’t record an ambidextrous drawing video because I simply didn’t practice enough for there to be improvements from the latest video. This month I’m happy to report that I’ve been practicing and hope the August video will be epic. It will also be my last video for the Writing Right project for a while.

Autumn is going to bring a whole lot of thrilling change! I’ve decided to do a one year Post-Baccalaureate program in Graphic Design at the Nova Scotia College of Art + Design University. It will certainly be a bit of an adjustment to be a student again but I’m really keen to learn and build up my portfolio. Currently I’ve got four illustration/design commissions on the go that I’m trying to finish before I delve into school assignments in just 2 ½ weeks. Wish me luck and stay posted for the many updates to come!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Passport Photos

In the springtime a friend and fellow photobooth lover, Marco from Northern Italy, sent me three strips taken in his own booth. (His original photos are below.) He sent them without instructions but with an understanding that he’d get something back. I like the idea of sending these once upon a time passport photos across international borders for bit of a cultural exchange.

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I came up with this idea which allowed us to each have a few of our own and a few of the other’s pictures.

Speaking of sending photobooth mail, my Photobooth Drawing Swap is still in full swing. Over the last six months I’ve gained a few trustworthy penpals who I’ve been swapping drawings for pictures with on a regular basis and had the occasional exciting one time exchange. Email me if you want to get some art in the mail!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer of Crafts & Kids

In a few days time I’ll have completed my 4400km journey from the Eastern Coast to the very middle of Canada. Yes, I’m going to Northern Saskatchewan. Why? Because, my nieces, nephew, eldest sister and her pregnant belly (who all live on the exact opposite side of the world from me) are making the 12,500km trip, so the least I could do is to meet them there.

Playing the role of Aunty Meags is a pretty great gig. I get to spend all my time reading out loud, making crafts, and for one week I will scarcely check my email inbox and not feel bad about it.

Each time I see the kids I come up with some handmade gifts and some craft ideas we can make together. The girls love playing dress-up so I made each of the kids (including the one yet to be born) a gender neutral mask of a Canadian animal.

In the last month I’ve also rekindled an old favourite past time that I’m excited to pass on to my nieces and nephew. With a dedicated friend in Halifax I’ve relearnt how to play Cat’s Cradle! If I search back far enough into my memory I think I may have learnt this classic game at my grandparent’s cabin on this lake in Northern Saskatchewan and I’m happy to pass the tradition on.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Garden State of Mind

Many readers will recognize this film still from the iconic scene in the 2004 film, Garden State. Zach Braff’s character is trying on a shirt his aunt made with the material left over after she upholstered her bathroom walls.

In a blog post from mid-June I mentioned some summery and floral prints I bought to make a few items out of. Inspired by this scene in Garden State and the general joy of summer, I used the left over material from the shirts I made as backgrounds in some photobooth strips.

I plan to make a few more shirts and dresses in August and continue with this photobooth series.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Writing Right: Five Months In

In June my ambidextrous lessons took the backseat while more important projects (ie. paid work) took priority. I scarcely practiced for about the first three weeks of June. Last week, in a panic I tried to get in enough practice time so that there would be noticeable improvement in this month’s Ambidextrous Drawing Lesson video. One of my strategies was to draw an X on my left hand in the morning, to serve as a visual reminder to sometimes let my right hand dominate. It really worked, despite the few odd looks I got in public.

This month I made two videos! First, the expected Ambidextrous Drawing Lesson #6, I’ll let you be the judge as to whether or not I have improved. And second, a wee video called Ambidextrous Advancements, compiling the last six drawings so the progress can be seen all in one place.

View all the videos here on vimeo!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Four for the Day

I’m pleased as punch to be this week’s guest artist on Four for the Day. Visit the site daily to see the new collection I’ll post every day this week!

I’m also delighted to have received the help of my friend (and photographer) Krista Leger. Krista gave up her Saturday to help me document the collections that I’ll be showing on Four for the Day. Here’s an “action shot” she snapped while I was arranging today’s collection.

In other news… I was not very attentive to the blog in June because I’ve been knee deep in professional and personal projects. In about a month’s time a fun and frenzied storm of updates should hit this blog as the projects are completed and can be shared. Stay tuned and enjoy the sunny days!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Photoshoot

Some shots from a shoot with Nathan Boone!

Copyright Nathan Boone 2011